Nov 27 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Tuesday:
** Belarus is in talks with companies from China, India,
Europe and the Arab world on selling a minority stake in potash
giant Belaruskali but will not drop its $30-32 billion
valuation, President Alexander Lukashenko said.
Russia's Uralkali has long coveted a
controlling stake in Belaruskali, which accounts for 15 percent
of the world potash market.
** Long-time suitor ConAgra Foods Inc finally sealed
a deal to buy private-label foods maker Ralcorp Holdings Inc
for $5 billion, to tap into the booming business for
packaged food that stores sell under their own brands.
** Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc agreed to sell property
group Archstone to two real estate investment trusts for about
$6.5 billion, taking advantage of a strong market for apartments
and marking an end to a 2007 gamble that helped push the
investment bank into bankruptcy.
The buyers, Equity Residential and AvalonBay
Communities Inc, will split the assets 60-40 and will
also take on Archstone's debt, for a total transaction value of
** Nationwide, Britain's biggest customer-owned financial
services group, is interested in bidding for 316 branches being
sold by Royal Bank of Scotland to speed up its expansion
into lending to small and medium-sized businesses. A
1.65-billion-pound ($2.6 billion) deal to sell the branches to
Spanish bidder Santander collapsed last month.
** Italy's Eni raised 1.4 billion euros ($1.81
billion) from the sale of shares and convertible bonds in Galp
Energia on Tuesday as it pushes on with plans to exit
the Portuguese energy company.
** Hutchison Whampoa expects the European
Commission to approve its 1.3 billion euro ($1.7 billion)
takeover of Orange Austria after a linked deal was
approved on Tuesday.
** U.S. private equity firm TPG has acquired truck and
trailer parts distributor FleetPride from Bahrain's alternative
asset manager Investcorp for over $1 billion,
** Swedish packaging companies Kinnevik and Billerud
won EU regulatory approval on Tuesday for their
planned merger which will create a company with annual sales of
about 20 billion crowns ($2.99 billion).
** Telekom Austria got the go-ahead to buy Orange
Austria's discount mobile brand Yesss for 390 million
euros ($505.4 million), paving the way for a long-awaited
consolidation of Austria's telecoms market.
** FirstRand could spend more than $300 million to
buy a retail and commercial bank in Nigeria to expand in
Africa's top oil producer, the head of South Africa's
second-largest lender said.
** A unit of family-owned Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group
has hired Deutsche Bank to evaluate the potential
sale of its 49-percent stake in a Saudi Arabian lubricants
venture that is valued at up to $700 million, three sources
** Shares in British aerospace group BAE Systems
rose sharply on Tuesday, with four traders citing market
speculation of interest in the company from U.S. group Lockheed
** Brazil's state-led oil company Petrobras
agreed to sell its 40 percent stake in the Santos Basin's BS-4
concession to OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A.
for $270 million, according to a securities filing.
** The chief executive of wireless hotspot provider ICOA Inc
said his company has never had acquisition talks with
Google Inc, and is contacting authorities about a
"hoax" press release on Monday that said Google bought his
company for $400 million.
** Aston Martin, purveyors of fast cars to a fictional
British spy and to real-life billionaires, could be partly owned
by India's Mahindra and Mahindra by the end of the
week if the Mumbai tractor moguls have their way,a person with
direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday. The source told
Reuters that an initial 40-percent stake could rise to 50
percent for a total price unlikely to top $400 million.
** Russia's Nord Gold will increase its ownership
of Toronto-listed subsidiary High River Gold to 87.9
percent under a share offer that could boost its free float and
take it a step further to a premium London listing.
** A pension fund owned by Russia's rail monopoly could buy
Russia's Absolut bank - valued at up to 12 billion roubles ($387
million) - from Belgian financial group KBC, which is
selling assets as part of a drive to win regulators' support for
The pension fund, Blagosostoyanie, received an approach from
KBC to take part in the sale process, its executive director
Yuri Novozhilov told Reuters on Tuesday, adding he did not know
if KBC had selected a winner.
** State conglomerate Russian Technologies is selling
control in the world's leading titanium company through a
management buyout. VSMPO-Avisma, which accounts for
around a quarter of the world's output of the light metal used
in aircraft construction, is being bought out by a joint venture
between the company's management and state-affiliated
** Family-owned conglomerate Haniel said it would
sell down stakes in retailer Metro and drugs
distributor Celesio to cut its debt to below 2
billion euros ($2.59 billion).
** Italy's Luxottica, the world's biggest premium
eyewear maker, will spend 45 million euros ($58.19 million) to
become a minority shareholder in optical retailer Salmoiraghi &
** Norway's Telenor is in talks to merge its Indian
operations with Tata Teleservices to gain a bigger foothold in
the world's second-biggest mobile phone market, a source with
direct knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.
** Spain's bank restructuring fund called FROB confirmed on
Tuesday that the country's third largest bank Caixabank
will buy nationalised bank Banco de Valencia.